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Czech far-right party activist to address BNP
Saturday August 16 2008
The head of an ultra-right wing party which advocates a "final solution" for Roma in the Czech Republic is due to speak at the annual festival held by the British National party today. Petra Edelmannova, chair of the Czech National party, is booked to give a 25-minute speech at the BNP's Red White and Blue festival in the village of Denby in Derbyshire.
The event faces strong opposition from local residents and anti-racism campaigners who are mounting a demonstration. The protest has been organised by a number of groups including Unite Against Facism (UAF), Love Music Hate Racism and Derby Racial Equality Council. The TUC and unions CWU and Unite are giving their support. UAF said it was expecting more than 500 people and coaches from around the country.
Edelmannova's party recently announced it was working on a 150-page "study" called The Final Solution to the Gypsy Issue in the Czech Lands, which it said it would present as part of a 2010 general election campaign.
Although the title evokes the Nazi plan to eradicate Jews in wartime Germany, the party told Lidove Noviny, a national Czech newspaper, its aim is only to offer Roma voluntary relocation to land bought in India. The NS is a marginal party in the Czech Republic, gaining only 0.17% of votes in the 2006 parliamentary elections. Judy Mallaber, MP for Amber Valley, said she had deep concerns. "[The BNP's] attempts to present a respectable image are still masking some deeply disturbing underlying views."
Simon Darby, deputy leader of the BNP, said: "There is a Gypsy problem there. What's wrong with people who talk frankly about their problems?"
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited 2008